Skip to main content

Unemployment: Prisoners

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 22 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into worklessness among ex-prisoners; and what steps he has taken to promote the employment of ex-prisoners. (162673)

DWP has commissioned three studies relating to worklessness and ex-prisoners.

Research report 464 “progress2work and progress2work-LinkUP: an exploratory study into evaluation possibilities” was published on 30 October 2007. A copy of this report is available in the Library.

A qualitative study following up on 40 prisoners for six months after leaving prison is due to be published in spring 2008. This will examine how support services can best be delivered to encourage employment outcomes and will explore the barriers faced by ex-prisoners as they make the transition from prison into the community.

A Joint Pilots Baseline Study was commissioned in July 2007 and is due to report in 2009. This is an evaluative study of a number of innovative pilots focusing on hard-to-help individuals, particularly ex-prisoners. These include Job Developer Pilots (EXit2Work) and the Green Paper on Reducing Re-offending Through Skills and Employment Test Bed regions.

Activities supporting the employment of ex-prisoners include Jobcentre Plus staff working in prisons to facilitate job retention and search, and the pre-booking of interviews with Jobcentre Plus on release. Additional support is available through the contracted-out programme progress2work and progress2work-LinkUP, whose clients are ex-prisoners, drug addicts and the homeless. Ex-prisoners are also supported by mainstream services, and have early access to the new deals.